Category Archives: San Francisco Real Estate

Daly at it again …

Daly Introduces Two Ordinances Aimed at Rental Property Owners Supervisor Chris Daly has introduced two proposed ordinances that, if passed, will affect rental property owners. One would prohibit owner move in evictions for households with children under the age of 18 and amend the definition of disability so that it is the same as the definition of disability in the relocation section of the city’s rent ordinance. The other would amend the city’s rent ordinance to define and prohibit harassment by landlords and provide for rent reduction fines for landlords who are harassing tenants. Both proposed ordinances have been assigned under the 30-day rule to the supervisors’ rules committee, consisting of Supervisors Daly, Dufty and Ammiano. Public hearings on the proposed ordinance are expected to be held by the committee next month.

Although the Association has not developed positions on the two proposed ordinances, it is a virtual certainty that it will oppose further restrictions on owner move in evictions.


Top 10 online resources to research San Francisco neighborhoods

How do buyers determine what neighborhood is the right one for them in San Francisco?


It’s where most buyers start, “How much can I afford?” and I find Trulia’s “heat maps” function works well to dig down into and compare neighborhood price trends.  Here’s a snapshot of our market.

Location, location, location

“How long will my commute be?” is the neighborhood near freeway on-ramps, BART stations, CalTrain, ferries and Muni? Is there a nearby dog park? What is the micro climate usually like?

What are the neighbors like?

I’m a demographic geek from my days in marketing and I love this census mashup by zip code at the time of the 2000 census. (I found 2 zip codes in LA that had over 25% unemployment at the time of the 2000 census!)

Is it a safe neighborhood?

These up to date crime maps are awesome, giving you the crime incidents that have occurred up to the last 90 days by the type of crime and shows the date and time.

Shopping? Eating? This site is pretty easily navigated to give you the basics — nothing fancy — of each shopping district around the City and beyond; it’s a crib sheet for shopaholics. For those hitting the boutiques your guide is Style Maven.

What’s the neighborhood going to look like in the future?

Swapping, the old fashioned real estate transaction

Until fairly recently in our history, and the advent of lending and mortgages, most real estate transactions were exchanges and they are still the norm for many ranches and farms. With a shift in our market, an exchange may speed the right outcome for your situation.

Imagine a younger couple in a South Beach condo with children on the way wanting more space and perhaps a single family home, and then imagine an older couple with a single family home wanting to downsize and escape from their home maintenance duties and be in an area, like South Beach, with the convenience of amenities and entertainment within walking distance. Here’s an ideal situation where the real estate desires of the parties would indicate a possible swap.

But exchanges are not limited to San Francisco, maybe you’re ready to swap out your rental property for a place in Tahoe, or Hawaii.

I’m putting together a site for those interested in learning more about swapping and to post what they have and what they want to exchange. If you’re interested in learning more about exchanges feel free to send me an email at

Real Estate Porn

The General’s house in the Presidio is for rent … a mere $15,000/month … is that obscene?

Image Hosted by

Bubble proof?

Business 2.0, the online portal of Money magazine, Fortune and CNN has awarded San Francisco the #1 bubbleproof real estate market

slot. Their thinking behind this cites real estate appreciation from 1949 to 2006 for our fair City as 4+%, about double the national average for that time slice. At the same time DataQuick has released numbers showing an overall bay area decrease in sales and Inman supplied headlines to the same effect.

What the Altos Research real time numbers say is that over 2006 there was a huge increase in inventory. Many of these sellers simply got discouraged and took their properties off the market, some have rented them with an option to purchase. Everyone, buyers and sellers alike, are hedging their bets. Sellers are unwilling to budge on their prices, and buyers are waiting for prices to fall. This impasse may have a bit to do with all the relentless “sky-is-falling” press, as mortgage rates have remained in line.

The bottom line is that real estate remains pricey in San Francisco. Perhaps the best quote I’ve heard is that living here is like dating a super model, it’s expensive and high maintenance.

A Picture’s worth a thousand words, but it’s all in how we say it


This photo, taken in 1972, remains one of the most requested documents from the National Archive after almost four decades. And, at the Richard Nixon Library gift store, merchandise with the famous image are the most popular items. Elvis would have been 72 earlier this month and the world knows him as nothing less than one of the first international brands. In the last fifty years branding itself has become art/science/academic with rules and strategies for acheiving and maintaining the personality of your brand.

So what does Elvis, a personality power brand, have to do with San Francisco real estate? I’ve recently had conversations with Katherine Webster who runs where she has a wonderful story on the history of the area. We were comiserating about how alike all the web sites of the new buildings going up nearby on Rincon Hill look. Where is the story telling, the personalities of these buildings are bland and brandless as expressed online. A little music, photos, computer graphics and then grocery lists of amenities, appliance brands, floor plans. Can’t we see a little more Elvis-like hip action?

I actually like the music and line drawings of One Rincon Hill … but then that stops and you go to a listing of, you guessed it, appliances, floor layouts, amenities. You can link to all the building sites on the list below to see for yourself. The Infinity is particularly horrible. Our developers are in the dark ages, so 2004, of web marketing at this point. Certainly *The Donald* gets the Elvis-ness of branding, attaching that to his buildings. But we have no Donald, for now, in San Francisco. Take a look and let me know if I’m wrong.

The inspiration for this post is all about this little challenge.


December South Beach Real Estate Sales Statistics

Not surprisingly many sellers tend to remove their property from the active market over the holidays preferring not to be interrupted with showings — 14 properties in the South Beach area were withdrawn from our multiple listing service over December.

For the month of December the South Beach 9H area had 17 condo/loft sales per the multiple listing service. The mls also showed 34 active listings in this period (4 of these have offers), and 26 pendings (although 11 of these are at the 50 Lansing building). Six new listings have been added to the inventory during the first week of January. I also noticed 2 for sale by owner units in South Beach on, one in the Portside and one in The Towers.